The Girl the Sea Gave Back (Sky in the Deep) by Adrienne Young

4 Stars

Date of publication: September 3rd, 2019

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Wednesday Books

Genre: Young Adult

Series: Sky in the Deep

Sky in the Deep—Book 1

The Girl the Sea Gave Back—Book 2

Where you can find The Girl the Sea Gave Back: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

The new gut-wrenching epic from the New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep.

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.


First Line:

Give me the child.”

The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

My Review:

I was excited to read The Girl the Sea Gave Back. Every review I read about this book painted it as a fantastic read. So, I went into this book with high expectations. I am happy to say that The Girl the Sea Gave Back lived up to those expectations. It was a fantastic read!!

The plotline for The Girl the Sea Gave Back was interesting. Tova was found in the wreckage of a funeral boat by a Svell holy man. Recognized as a Truthtongue by she is taken to the nearby Svell village. There, she is used to read runes for the leader of the Svell. Things change for her when two rival clans merge into one. Forced to read the runes, what Tova sees will change her life. People will die, and Tova will realize that she can have the one thing that she wants the most: a home.

The plotline for The Girl the Sea Gave Back was fast-paced and well written. I have a love/hate relationship with fast-paced books. I love them because the book zips along. I don’t like them because sometimes, there are plotlines that get overlooked. Which didn’t happen here.

I loved how the author had the tribes modeled after the Vikings. The tribes weren’t exactly like the Vikings, but there were enough similarities that I had pause at points and tell myself, “This is a fantasy book. Not real life.” The two essential things that stood out to me were the Tova reading the runes and the funeral boat in the prologue.

I liked Tova and man, did I feel bad for her at points in the book. What she went through was awful. The Svell hated her because she was a Kyrr Truthtongue, but they used her too. I couldn’t even imagine growing up under that type of hatred. She read the stones that told the Svell that they needed to battle Nadhir, which sets her on course to meet with Halvard. I also liked that Tova was conflicted about her rune reading. She wanted to please the leader, but at the same time, she didn’t want to cause death. I found her connection to Halvard to be interesting. I do wish that more had been explained about why she was connected to him. Something other than he was her destiny. Because I’ll tell you, it did confuse me.

The Girl the Sea Gave Back is a bloody book. There are quite a few battles between the Svell and the Nadhir. I liked that the author didn’t hold anything back when it came to describing the battles. I am not at all affected by blood and violence in a book. But some people are.

There is no romance in The Girl the Sea Gave Back. I can’t tell you all the last time I read a young adult book that didn’t have a romance. I loved it!! There was a hint of it between Tova and Halvard but it didn’t get beyond a hint.

I do wish that Tova’s background had been released sooner. I would have understood certain parts of the book better. I didn’t put two and two together until the middle of the book. And even then, it took me a while to realize who Tova was.

The Girl the Sea Gave Back is not a stand-alone book. I read it as one and was left wondering about several things mentioned in the book. Relationships and how the Nadhir were brought together were the main ones. Read Sky in the Deep before reading The Girl the Sea Gave Back.

The end of The Girl the Sea Gave Back was interesting. The way individual storylines were ended made me wonder if there will be another book in this world. I hope so because I enjoyed it. I hope that there will be more focus on the Kyrr if there is.


I would give The Girl the Sea Gave Back an Older Teen rating. There is no sex. There is no language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.

I am on the fence if I would reread The Girl the Sea Gave Back. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

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2 thoughts on “The Girl the Sea Gave Back (Sky in the Deep) by Adrienne Young

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